In times of crisis, fraudsters attempt to exploit the latest news developments to lure investors into scams, and the once-in-a-century global health crisis we are currently facing is no exception. On February 4, 2020, the SEC noted in an Investor Alert that it was aware of a number of web-based promotions claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies could prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19—and that the stock of these companies would skyrocket as a result. The Investor Alert warned market participants to be vigilant and put publicly-traded companies on notice that the Commission is watching.
As one of the more closely watched insider trading prosecutions of the past few years heads towards trial, observers can look to the investigation surrounding the 2015 acquisition of Life Time Fitness Inc. as a reminder of the dangers that can befall those who seek to engage in a tipping scheme.
Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. of the U.S. District Court of Georgia permanently shelved a derivative suit brought by shareholders of Home Depot.
Home Depot is a multinational home improvement retailer. In September, 2014, Home Depot suffered a data breach that resulted in $192 million in net losses. This breach followed the widely publicized data breaches at several other major retailers and department stores.
Last month, the Delaware Chancery Court drastically reduced – from $275,000 to $50,000 – a mootness fee award requested by plaintiffs’ counsel in a lawsuit challenging the merger between PayPal and Xoom Corporation, finding the supplemental disclosures that flowed from the lawsuit provided only minor benefits to stockholders. In re Xoom Corp. Stockholder Litigation. The steep fee reduction reinforces Trulia’s admonition earlier this year that the days of $250,000-$350,000 attorneys’ fee awards for meaningless additional disclosures are over, as Delaware judges will carefully scrutinize attorneys’ fee requests for litigation that yields disclosures of little or no value.
In a clear sign of the increased awareness – and effectiveness – of the SEC’s whistleblower program, the SEC awarded five whistleblowers a total of over $26 million for their assistance in four separate enforcement actions between May 13 and June 9.
In Jinnaras v. Alfant, decided on May 5, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals rejected a proposed settlement of a shareholder class action, where the proposed settlement would have deprived out-of-state class members of a “cognizable property interest” by failing to provide a mechanism for class members residing…